Former England striker Peter Crouch has ended his playing career aged 38 after more than 21 years as a professional.
The former Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Stoke striker was out of contract at Burnley in June.
Crouch played for a total of 11 clubs and earned 42 England caps.
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“If you told me at 17 I’d play in World Cups, get to a Champions League final, win the FA Cup and get 100 Premier League goals, I would have avoided you at all costs,” Crouch wrote on Twitter.
“It’s been an absolute dream come true. Our wonderful game has given me everything. I’m so thankful to everyone who helped me get there and helped me stay there for so long.”
Crouch said his decision to retire arrived “after a lot of deliberation”.
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Having started his career at Tottenham, he had spells on loan at Dulwich Hamlet and IFK Hassleholm before moving to Queens Park Rangers.
He then moved to Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich on loan, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth again, Tottenham, Stoke and Burnley.
He played 468 times in the Premier League and scored 108 league goals in a career in which he won the FA Cup in 2005-06 with Liverpool and played in the Champions League final in 2007 as part of Rafael Benitez’s side.
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Crouch admitted the prospect of retirement was “scary” and writing in the Daily Mail added: “To go from being a regular starter to someone whose role is limited to 10 or 15 minutes off the bench has been hard to accept.
“I will be 39 in January but I am physically fit and could have carried on. What I didn’t want to be was someone who was thrown on to have balls smashed up to them.”
The 6ft 7in striker, who scored 22 times for England, was more adept with his feet than his head despite his stature – scenario he demonstrated with eye-catching volleys for both Stoke and Liverpool.
His trademark ‘robot’ celebration gained him notoriety and later in his career he was part of the successful “That Peter Crouch Podcast.”
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